Host Transfer - Is this not possible?

I am looking to transfer my main site to dreamhost, I’ve been with them for a few weeks on a few of my sites and I’m looking into taking the BIG PLUNG, so to speak. (And also hope to join the community as well, you guys seem cool.)

Anyways, while looking around at the features and what not, including the “How to transfer/access your domain before the DNS updates” parts and have been kind of wondering if this couple of steps would be possible instead of the steps given (with mirroring the subdomain and such)?

  1. Through the control panel, set up the domain name for one of your users (or creating a new one).
  2. Then add the MySQL database, again through the control panel.
  3. Connect to the actual server that your web host will be on and upload the files now, before DNS updates. For instance, say that my account was created on (taken randomly from the server list in the wiki). Couldn’t I connect to using the username and find the folder for my domain (or subdomain) there, and upload all my files?
  4. Connect to the MySQL database using the server it’s on, say, using the username you created for it and import the data. (You would of course have to allow your computer to connect to the server, at least temporarily.)
  5. Wait for the DNS to update, so everyone can find a happy, well functioning website.

Would this process work, and if not, what would be the problems with doing this?

Looks ok to me, though somewhere in Manage MySQL you will need to Edit that User with Access and add the IP address of your current webserver so it will have permission to connect to your new database.

Finding the actual server your SQL database is on at DreamHost might be a bit tricky. I know I can SSH in and do a ‘host’ to get the IP address of my database server, and then do a ‘host’ for that IP address to get the name. But I don’t know how well that works for a soon-to-be operational domain name.


You can find the host for your mysql database under Status->MySQL Usage. It lists the server right there for me.

This is interesting. The MySQL usage says my server is jones, which has one IP address. Doing a reverse lookup on my database’s IP address says it’s, which is not the same IP address as So I don’t know what happens if you rely on the hostname given in the Status.


I believe that Jones is ‘the big mamma computer’ of her own litlte clustuer of machines. As I understnad things, and I could be completly wrong, but as I understand things mysql and E-mail services are set up in clueseters to handle increased load.

I also do not belive that you can connect to your mysql server via it’s IP address or host name through phpmyadmin. So, how do you get data into your new DH database and access it? If you can get by without using phpmyadmin you will be able to access your database via it’s hostname from a shell prompt on your server. Your sites will alos be able to access the local database.

This is made possible by the fact that DH servers all check the local DNS first for an entry. So once you’ve added things through the panel, you can access them in the DH system.

If you need or want phpmyadmin you could set up two hostnames for your database and have one through Also, let me make note that the point of setting up a mirrored subdomain of your new website here at dreamhost is for you to be able to access it via http and make sure that everything is making a smooth transition. You could avoid the entire sub-domain ‘thing’ and just add a few IPs to your local hosts file.

–Matttail - personal website